Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I don't know why I bother

I have a rule that compels me to sample a beer on the menu if I have never tried it before. I should revise this rule for Irish ethnic restaurants because it invariably leaves a beer glass shaped hole in my soul. It happened with Tsing Tao. It happened with Shiva. Singha and Cobra hurt me too. I will never learn. I am doomed to play out these petty follies forever. It happened again with Alfa Beer in my local Greek restaurant. In truth I knew what I was getting into but couldn't help myself. The lager is just like every other beer produced in hot countries; it tastes of very little, with perhaps a twinge of malt at the end. The label does not mention any adjuncts, making this beer all malt and quite an achievement to get so little body and flavour into it. Once again this is a beer I would probably drink while basking in the Greek sun but it just doesn't cut the mustard here. For sure it washed down dinner very well - all these beers do that, but the food tasted far better than the beer and it was a shame to rinse the flavour from my mouth.

7 comments:

The Beer Nut said...

It's a crap choice in Greece too. Mythos is my preferred Hellenic macrolager.

Thom said...

So we get the crappest of the crap beer. Unfortuante.

Dublin beekeeper said...

I cannot resist trying the local lager in any foreign restaurant I go into. They are always either really dull or taste like bad homebrew lager. Has anyone ever discovered a good beer in an ethnic restaurant?

Thom said...

They are universally bad, in my experience. But I have to try them. Like a lot of us beer types, I specifically ask for the local brew. I feel it is my duty.

The Beer Nut said...

Legend speaks of African restaurants around Parnell Street which serve Guinness Foreign Export, but I place no store in such wild travellers' tales.

Séan Billings said...

I don't understand why so many hot countries feel the need to remove all flavour from beer. They often have very tasty food and nice wine, but when it comes to beer they only seem to care that it's cold. There are exceptions, like Australia for instance, but that probably has to do with cultural influences from northern Europe.

There are many flavourful beers that can be delicious in hot weather and might even compliment the food, rather than just wash it down.

The Beer Nut said...

It's because they have no tradition of beer-making themselves: it was introduced when most of the world already believed beer = pilsner. So you get instant macrobreweries which haven't grown out of smaller traditional operations.

It is changing gradually, though. Decent, varied beer as a novelty is something I've found done with varying degrees of success in Barcelona, Lisbon, Athens and Havana, for instance. The hot countries are on exactly the same learning curve as Ireland. Except we have no excuse for the general crapness of our mainstream beer.